12 December 2014

"He Hath Blessed Mine House," Alma 10:7-12

Alma 10:7-12

After Amulek's introduction, in six verses he shares his personal witness of Alma as a prophet and a holy man. Amulek learns by what appears to be two separate angelic visitations 1) the character and office of Alma  (vs. 7) and 2) the validity of Alma's teachings to the people of Ammonihah (vs. 10).

I've always glossed over the second angelic visitation, lumping it together as one with the first. But Amulek specifically says that this visitation came while Alma was at his house. We know that Alma dwelt at Amulek's house for many days before they returned to the public square to address the people, and what seems to have happened here while Alma was in the house of Amulek is an intense period of personal ministry and training for both Amulek and his household.

While in verse 10, Amulek cites the angel's witness as validity of the things which Alma had taught. Amulek then goes further to explain that Alma had blessed every member of his household: himself, his women, his children, his father, his kinsfold, and all his kindred (extended family?). "The blessing of the Lord hath rested upon us according to the words which he spake." (vs. 11)

There is in these verses a key to obtaining greater peace and happiness in family life by bringing the words of the living prophets into our homes and families. Amulek tried it, and it blessed every member of his household. 

10 December 2014

"I Knew Concerning These Things, Yet I Would Not Know," Alma 10:1-6

Alma 10:1-6

In these verses we have an introduction of Amulek, a self-described "man of no small reputation among all those who know me... [having] many kindreds and friends, and... acquired much riches by the hand of my industry." (vs. 4) So then Amulek, a man who is influential, well connected, and well to do in temporal means, immediately in the next verses makes a public confession:
Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power; yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people.
Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; (vs. 5-6)
 What we have here in the words of Amulek, is a recognition of his own personal rebellion against God. In the open remarks of Amulek, he gives his genealogy or an account of his ancestral line pointing to some key
players such as Aminadi, whom he credits with "interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God." (vs. 2) What Amulek seems to be getting at here is that there was a heritage of righteousness within his own family history, and that as such, he did have some knowledge already of the ways of God, the ways of righteousness, yet he didn't want to have any part in extending that family heritage down into his own life experience.

In this regard, Amulek is much like the rest of the people of Ammonihah, having a rich heritage of faith to build upon, but having had rejected it entirely.